Philip Verschueren joined the group six months ago. His start-up Blackboxed found a home at Oddball and was renamed Oddball Digital. How was he welcomed into the group? What are the plans with Oddball Digital?
1. Wat does Oddball Digital do?
Philip Verschueren: “We make customised software. With our team of six, we build back-end, front-end and mobile apps. Our focus is on user-friendly applications that work perfectly on desktop and mobile.
Our approach is pragmatic and hands-on. During creative workshops with our customers, we search for solutions that solve their problems and add value to their business. Using wireframes and prototypes, we make the solution clear and tangible.
Currently, we are building an online platform for MySueño Sport & Health Marketing that replaces their processes that today rely on Word, Excel, and several SaaS solutions. For solar panel installer Futech, we built an app that provides insight into energy consumption and yield.”
2. ‘We un-hype the hypes”, we read on Oddball Digital’s LinkedIn page. What does that mean?
Philip Verschueren: “It emphasises that we have both feet firmly on the ground. We are technology fans, but we only use mature and future-proof technology. Our customers don’t want to make expensive investments in digital applications that might become obsolete next year. Our solutions must be sustainable and retain their value. The term ‘AI’ crops up in almost every conversation these days. Many companies want to ‘do something with AI’. But AI is not a black hat into which you put all kinds of stuff to pull out a white rabbit. Our job is to make clear what is feasible. We are practice-oriented. Our applications have to work.”
3. Oddball currently consists of two teams: Oddball Digital and the marketing agency Oddball Brand. How do you complement each other?
Philip Verschueren: “We work together to develop websites and apps. Oddball Brand creates the graphic and motion design, we take care of the technical realisation. After that, we pass the torch back to Oddball Brand to guide clients in the area of activation and optimisation.
The sub-brands are there to highlight our complementary expertise. This division allows us to specialise in a much more focused manner.
The common thread running through it all is brand experience: together we ensure that your customers become fan of your products and your employees become brand ambassadors for your company. Your IT systems and software must help enhance that experience. The creative aspect also connects us: together we come up with original digital products.
Besides this, we collaborate with the other Gumption companies. We build websites for them or work together with them on products for their customers. For example, currently we’re working on the PIM (Product Information Management) system of pgb-Europe, a customer of TheValueChain.”
4. How did you end up at Gumption?
Philip Verschueren: “Last year we partnered with Brightest to set up a quality assurance framework for one of our customers, and that's how I got in touch with Bart Embrechts again. We had known each other for some time, and now the time was right to work together.
At Gumption, we have dedicated and motivated people. It is not just about selling as many products or services as possible, but about helping customers effectively. It’s great to be part of such an enthusiastic group of people, especially after the long period of working remotely during the lockdowns. The focus on cocreation, on cooperation and complementarity: that is different from some other business groups. I feel at home here.
At the Gumption group, my company can grow faster. Gumption assists Oddball Digital in HR and sales. That allows me to focus on the business and the team. That is what I like doing best.”
5. What are the plans of Oddball Digital?
Philip Verschueren: “Our first goal now is to attract new developers. Oddball’s creative environment, the inspiring office on “het Eilandje”, the positive atmosphere: it helps to attract talent. We are already noticing this; our internships are in demand.
I am really looking forward to building a top team. That’s been my focus for twenty years already. I set the bar high, also for myself. Thanks to my technical background, I can also assist employees in their day-to-day tasks. I really missed that aspect of the job during the pandemic. It is more difficult to do it remotely; then, coaching feels more like controlling to me. It’s more difficult to assess how people are feeling and what they are struggling with. So, I’m very happy to work together again at the office. With a close-knit and larger team, we will be able to deliver more and bigger projects. That's our ambition: to grow as a team and as a company.”
Who is Philip Verschueren?
Philip Verschueren is trained in IT and has been active as a team leader, strategist, managing partner and entrepreneur for over 25 years. In 2009, he founded iCapps, a company that develops apps for clients including KBC, Unilever, Belfius, Telenet and Van In. In 2017, iCapps was acquired by Cronos. Afterwards, he worked for Rombit and Zimmo, among others. As an avid skier and cyclist, he conquers several mythical mountains every year. He passed his sporty DNA on to his teenage sons: one is a competitive swimmer and the other a water polo player.